The Texas Rangers traded away Mike Minor, Todd Frazier and Robinson Chirinos today, opening up three spots on the active roster, while Rougned Odor is headed to the injured list, opening up another spot. Elvis Andrus is expected to be activated from the injured list to fill one of those spots, and general manager Jon Daniels said today that Eli White and Anderson Tejeda will be called up from the Alternate Training Site, as well.
Tejeda was up briefly earlier in the season, making the jump to the majors without having previously played above high-A. He picked up his first major league hit and first major league home run before being sent back down. Tejeda can play second, third and shortstop, and would seem to be in a position to take the place of Yadi Rivera, the Rangers’ current utility infielder. Tejeda is viewed as a solid defender with a big arm and big power, but significant contact issues. He will, I imagine, get some reps at the various infield spots the rest of the way.
Eli White coming up is intriguing. White came to Texas from Oakland in the Jurickson Profar trade last year, but had a disappointing 2019 campaign at AAA Nashville, and was left exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. White has an impressive spring training and an impressive summer camp, and seemed poised to make the roster before an injury sidelined him. The initial reports seemed to indicate that White would likely miss the rest of 2020, but he’s apparently healthy and has impressed at the Alternate Site.
White can play the infield and the outfield, but he was used primarily as an outfielder this spring and this summer. The quotes from Jon Daniels seem to indicate that White will be getting regular playing time in the outfield, where the indications are he’s an above average fielder. He has speed and can play defense — the question is how much he will hit. His versatility makes him a potentially valuable role player.
It sounds like the Rangers will be rolling with an infield of Ronald Guzman, Nick Solak, Elvis Andrus and Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the time being, with Tejeda backing them up. Eli White, Leody Taveras and Joey Gallo are in the outfield, and Jose Trevino will be getting most of the starts. It would seem to be an above-average defensive group, with Solak at second base being the only below average defender.
Also of note is that Jon Daniels said that Kyle Cody will likely be getting the first shot at the rotation spot Mike Minor’s trade opened up.
Oh, and he said payroll is going down next year. I will save my thoughts on that for another time.